Cold hands, warm heart….

….are the makings of a good chocolatier.  This is what I learned in chocolate-making class a few weeks ago with my sister.  Why would we take such a class you may ask?  Why not?  What better way to bond than to get your hands covered in melted chocolate?  We took a class at CocoaNymph that consisted of a history in chocolate-making and a hands-on portion where we shaped pre-prepared ganache (basically heavy cream and chocolate) and then coated and decorated it.  And here are the results:

Chocolate ganache bonbons and truffles

Not bad right?  My more creative sister made a rabbit.

One-eyed chocolate rabbit

So after just taking a 2.5 hour class, I decided that I can make my own chocolates.  I mean, how hard can it be?  It’s just ganache coated with chocolate.  Who needs years of school and training?  Yes, I’m nuts and for a good week, I spent my spare time sourcing out chocolate-making supplies (fine Belgian chocolate, dipping tools, cutters and transfer sheets).  I obsessively scoured the internet for local suppliers, which wasn’t an easy feat.  The wholesalers I contacted didn’t seem to understand that I wasn’t running a bakery or a restaurant and didn’t want to buy 10kg of chocolate.  All I wanted was to make a few bonbons and truffles.  Finally, after many google searches, emails and dragging my husband around the city, I found  Callebaut chocolates at Charlie’s Chocolate Factory that I can buy in small quantities, cutters and dipping tools from Ming Wo and transfer sheets from Ravensbergen Bakery Supplies.

Now for the hard part.  If you’ve ever read about chocolate-making, you will quickly learn that chocolate can have a bad temper!  If chocolate is not melted and cooled at the correct temperature, you will end up with dull-looking chocolate that will not have a snap when you bite into it.  I’ve discovered after a few unsuccessful attempts that an easier way to temper chocolate is to use Callebaut’s cocoa butter Mycryo.  How did it turn out?  See for yourself.

Homemade chocolate

Do I have what it takes to be a chocolatier?  Maybe it’s time for a career change.  Hmmm…. More adventures in chocolate making to come.

Recipes:

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate or couverture chopped into small pieces
  • loaf pan (or any kind of flat bottom container) lined with saran wrap
  1. Heat cream until just starting to boil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add cream to chocolate and let sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. Mix until all chocolate has melted.
  5. Pour mixture into loaf pan.
  6. Cover with saran wrap, making sure it touches the chocolate.
  7. Chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight until harden.
  8. To shape chocolate, use mini cutters or form into balls if making truffles.

Tempering chocolate and coating ganache

  1. Melt dark chocolate to 40-45°C on low heat, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula.  If you don’t have a double boiler, just put a bowl on top of a saucepan with shimmering water.  Make sure water or steam doesn’t come in contact with the chocolate, which will cause the chocolate to become irreversibly lumpy.
  2. Remove bowl from saucepan and let chocolate cool at room temperature to 34-35°C.  Stir occasionally.
  3. Add 1% mycryo (e.g. 10g for 1kg of chocolate) and mix well.
  4. The chocolate is ready to use when the temperature reaches 31-32°C.
  5. One at a time, add the ganache pieces to the tempered chocolate, coat and remove with a dipping tool.  Make sure to remove excess chocolate by tapping the dipping tool on side of the bowl.
  6. Place coated chocolate on parchment paper.  If you have chocolate transfer sheets, place sheet (chocolate side down) on top of coated ganache right away and press down.  If making truffles, drop coated ganache in bowl/container with chopped nuts/chocolate or cocoa powder and swirl to coat then transfer to parchment paper.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all ganache pieces have been coated.
  8. Let cool at room temperature.  Peel off transfer sheets.
  9. Eat!

Notes and Tips:

You can use the leftover tempered chocolate in other recipes that call for chocolate.  For example, to make ganache or in the batter for molten chocolate lava cake (recipe to come).  Don’t let it go to waste!

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7 thoughts on “Cold hands, warm heart….

  1. Pingback: Elbows deep in chocolate « trials in food

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